The day started at 0730 in the office preparing for a long list of meetings. Meetings used to be just about taking an active part and contributing. Now that I chair the meetings I also need to concern myself with timings, impact and outcomes and ensuring everyone gets a fair chance to contribute. I enjoy this but it means that preparation for meetings is that much more important so that valuable time is not wasted during the meetings. Most of the prep work is carried out the night before.
Today’s first meeting, to discuss highway maintenance, started at 0800. We looked at a range of issues and opportunities. We considered how the new team structure within environment services would help deliver services against a backdrop of less money.
At 0830 I met with Nichola Harrison, an independent county councillor, who has a passion for transport issues. Nichola gave a thoughtful presentation, to officers and relevant cabinet members, on her vision of how road infrastructure could be funded involving road pricing.
At 1000 I chaired a workshop of cabinet and senior officers looking at our budget progress against targets set last year. We politicians were also keen to check that priorities set last year were still valid and we explored some emerging good ideas. This workshop is one of a series that will stimulate thinking in this area over the summer. We broke for lunch at 1300.
I met my deputy for a catch up at 1330 before chairing an informal gathering of the cabinet at 1400 at which we brought each other up to date on activity within each portfolio. This is a regular weekly meeting which helps to ensure we are joined up in our thinking across departments.
At 1630 I met with the chief exec and chair of the probation service, together with Mark Lloyd. We discussed a range of ideas to work more closely together.
I finished the day with my regular one to one with Mark Lloyd before leaving the office at 1800, tired but satisfied.